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Bit Refusal

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Bit Refusal
  • I have a 2 year old gelding that I'm starting work under saddle. He's had the bit in his mouth 5 or 6 times then started refusing to the point of rearing. I have no idea what changed. I've used the same D-ring every time. He'll let me put my fingers in his mouth and even the lead rope, but freaks over the bit. I've never "used" the bit when its in his mouth, never pulled or put pressure. I am open to any and all suggestions. I've finished out many horses but he's my first from the ground up. I'll be honest, I'm kinda lost. 
  • He's 2 so it's time for his first dental visit. Maybe that would shed some light on the situation. Our Morab mare was really fussy about the bit and when we had her teeth done, they were terrible, sharp points on the outside and inside. I'm a big advocate of rewarding good behavior too and taking little steps so if he won't let you put your hand on his poll with the bridle hanging down, start there, feeding him little bits of carrot or whatever to reward him. If you haven't taught him to lower his head with pressure at the poll, start there but make it a good experience and end at a good, positive point. Not sure what you know but remember to let him spit the bit if you get it in his mouth instead of pulling it out or dropping it where it hits his teeth.
  • I had his teeth checked and wolf teeth pulled back in April and the vet said they were fine. Could they get that bad such little time? 
  • Since it's been less than a year, I wouldn't think so.
  • Hello, please do not mistake me for an expert, I'm just a fellow rider. Have you checked his gums? Are they bleeding, or look irritated? Do you use a corkscrew bit? I use a D swivel slow bit. Dragon (my horse) is fine with that one. Maybe you should try using a bridle with no bit. Again I'm no expert. Hope this helps!
  • Thank you for all your help. 
    I'm debating on training him up to a bit, also rolling around the idea of breaking him in a hackamore and work up to the bit and also teach him to drop his head "into the box". I've been told that both of these things will prep him for the bit.

    His gums are a pretty pink lol he'll let you put anything else (ie wormer, fingers, lead rope) in his mouth other than the bit. I've also been told to try wrapping the bit in fruit rollups to make it more of a tasty experience lol

    The bit I'm using is a D ring with copper rollers on it.